It's very perplexing to me. Here are some examples:







One theory I heard about is that it's due to cultural differences between the conquerors and the conquered.

  • It would improve the question if you could provide locations for the gates shown, and possibly time frames for when the openings were closed in.
    – justCal
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 16:26
  • Lots of false assumptions being made here. Three of the pictures are the Golden Gate, which was walled up in the late Byzantine period (i.e. not by the Ottomans) to create a citadel. The last one doesn't look like it's been reduced to me. Not that I would call walling a gate up "rebuilding", mind you. None of these images are "examples".if there's no evidence it was "rebuilt to a smaller format" by the Ottomans.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 18:41
  • @Semaphore it's a question, sir. If I am wrong about my assumption, instruct me about it, please. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 18:48
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    I just did - see my comment above. If you have no evidence to support your premise that this is a systematic policy by the Ottoman Empire, I suggest you simply pick a specific gate and ask what happened to it. That way you don't randomly assume an actor or a time period.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 18:55
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    @user1095108 That's a dubious assumption, not an argument. There's no law of nature forbidding the Byzantine Empire from walling in their own gates. This is why I suggest you pick a specific gate to ask about, because as it is you might as well be asking for a survey of the Near East.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


Out of the list of images in the question, some can be found on this site, which provides some descriptions of the photos. One of these is identified as the 'Golden Gate' of (then) Constantinople. The Wikipedia entry says this about the Golden Gate:

It was the main ceremonial entrance into the capital, used especially for the occasions of a triumphal entry of an emperor into the capital on the occasion of military victories or other state occasions such as coronations.

These military victories became much fewer, and finally:

With the progressive decline in Byzantium's military fortunes, the gates were walled up and reduced in size in the later Palaiologan period, and the complex converted into a citadel and refuge.

The Palaiologan period was the last period of Byzantine rule, so the premise of the question is off. The gates were actually walled in by the Byzantines as a defensive measure at a time when Constantinople was more often the target of attack. The Ottomans did not close this gate in.

  • you neglected "It lost its function as a gate, and for much of the Ottoman era, it was used as a treasury, archive, and state prison." from the same article. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:02
  • But this is just one example of Byzantine architecture repurposed. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:04
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    That just reflects the gate areas usage under the Ottomans, not who did the changes you asked about in the question.
    – justCal
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:06
  • I'll wait if someone else offers other insights :) Thank you. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:40

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